Frequently Asked Questions
When is the club open to the public?
The South End Rowing Club is open to the public on alternating days with the Dolphin Club, next door, Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. Please ring doorbell for access. There is a day-use fee of $10.00. Public visitors must sign the guest book, fill out one of the envelopes, sign it, and put their $10 fee inside. Deposit the envelope with cash or check in the safe at the entrance. (No public visitors on Sunday.)
What is the Club Guest Policy?
Members in good standing may bring up to two guests to the club at any time. Guests must be accompanied by the club member. (Note that membership at SERC is individual. Family of members are considered guests and must adhere to the guest policy if they are using the club’s facility.)
There is a day-use fee of $10.00. Use the provided envelope to enclose your cash or check, sign the waiver on the envelope, and deposit the envelope in the safe at the entrance. Sign the log book.
The day-use fee does not apply to non-members who:
- are spectators of sports events hosted by the club. (However, if guests are joining for meals, they must pay the event’s suggested amount for that meal.)
- are accompanying members and not using the club’s shower, sauna or other facilities
Non-members may not use any of the club’s watercraft (wooden boats, racing shells or kayaks). Use exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the Rowing Commissioner.
Non-member participants in sports events (e.g. tournaments and regattas) must be registered and paid-in-full for that event. (Sports commissioners are required to provide these lists to door monitors.)
How do I join the club?
Fill out the application and send it to the address provided with the dues. (If joining mid-year send the pro-rated dues.) Click here for an application!
How do I replace my key if I've lost it or if it no longer works?
If you have lost your key, replacement keys are available through the office for a $25 fee. Please send in a check to the club office for $25 along with the address you would like your new key sent to. A new key should arrive within two weeks.
If your key no longer works, please leave a note in the office mail slot or email the office manager. We will attempt to reprogram the key, if that does not work a new one will be sent to you.
How do I get a locker?
If you are interested in a locker, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If a locker is available, you will be assigned one once you have paid the locker rental fee. Please do not just take an unlocked locker as it may be a fellow member's who has paid for it and does not have a lock on it. The men's locker waiting list is posted on the bulletin board outside the men's locker room. Current waiting period for a men's locker is approximately one year, or more. Please email the membership secretary to be placed on the men's locker waiting list.
What is the day rate if I'd like to use the club and I'm not a member?
$10.00 payable at the door. Ring the bell for access.
Boats are not available for use by non-members. Please see the Rowing FAQs.
How can I contact the club?
Call the office at 415-776-7372 or send an email to us at email@example.com.
Are the Club By Laws available online?
Yes, in PDF format.
Which events are open to the public?
The Alcatraz Invitational, held in the late summer, is the only swimming event open to the public. Day use is available for $10.00 on alternating days with the Dolphin Club. See above Day Use policy.
Is Bay swimming dangerous?
Yes. Boats are the most dangerous thing to watch for when swimming outside of the Aquatic Park cove. Hypothermia can be lethal, so you must learn and respect your limits in the cold water. Sea lions have been known to bite, but this is rare.
How clean is the water?
Runoff after a heavy rain can contaminate the Bay water. Generally, though, the water is clean enough to swim in every day. The salty taste, lack of clarity due to algae and other marine life, and ocean smell may be off-putting to some. These aspects aren't "dirty", and you will get used to it the way you got used to the chlorine.
What are the signs of hypothermia?
Cold, shivering, mental confusion, euphoria, and suddenly feeling warm and that you can swim forever are all signs of hypothermia. Dizziness, nausea, physical weakness, and mental confusion can also be signs of hypothermia. Sometimes you can feel okay while you're in the water but then notice signs of hypothermia once you are out of the water - these help you know that you may have gone beyond your limits.
What should I do if I feel hypothermic?
If you think you're dangerously cold while swimming, you should try to get out as soon as possible. Signal to a pilot for assistance. If you get in the zodiac, wrap up in blankets and try to cover your head to prevent heat loss. Drink warm fluids. It is a good idea to take wet clothing off if possible. When you get back to the club, go carefully but quickly to the sauna as breathing warm air into your lungs will warm you more quickly than a shower. Once in the sauna, sit down and drink warm fluids. Take off your suit and dry off as quickly as possible. Shower after you feel more steady on your feet and if possible ask someone test the water temperature for you before you step into the shower. Hypothermia can be very dangerous and it might be necessary to seek medical attention.
To help retain body heat (and help prevent swimmer's ear infections) a thermal cap and "Mack's Earplugs" are highly recommended for all swimmers.
How do I learn to pilot a zodiac?
Pilot training classes are offered periodically at the South End.
See Pilot's Corner in the Swimming section of this site for complete information on the procedure to become a certified pilot.
What if I'm not a fast, competitive type of swimmer?
There are club swims that fit most swimmer's abilities. There is no need to be fast, but swimmers must be comfortable swimming in open water, with the understanding that currents and conditions are significant variables.
What if I want to be challenged?
The Club offers challenging longer swims for more experienced swimmers. These are listed as Nutcracker Swims. It is sometimes necessary for swimmers to qualify for these swims.
Can I wear a wetsuit?
Sure! Wetsuit, swimsuit, even birthday suits are welcomed at the club.
How do I get started rowing?
Contact the Rowing Commissioner or Boathouse Captain. The South End also offers Rowing Clinics throughout the year, open to the public, though early registration is required.
May non-members use the boats?
No. South End boats are not available to the public, nor for rent. In fact, members themselves may use boats only after they've been certified by either the Boathouse Captain or the Rowing Commissioner
May I store my own boat at SERC?
No, privately owned watercraft are not stored on premises. All boats at the Club are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Is there competitive rowing team at SERC?
We're competitive, but we do not have a regular crew. Except for the barge South End, our boats are either singles or doubles. Rowing at SERC is more social and recreational than competitive.
How do I get started with handball?
Like most of our club activities, the best way to begin is to simply come down to SERC and meet the people. There are two annual Handball tournaments open to the public: Cinco De Mayo and Memorial Day. Members are often looking for partners to create teams.
How many courts does the club have?
The South End Rowing Club has 3 indoor courts.